Pyle and Johnson

Knightstown No. 1 doubles player Kyle Johnson (right) gets ready to return a shot to Shenandoah as his tennis partner Connor Pyle also watches the flight of the ball during the championship match of the New Castle boys tennis sectional Oct. 1. Saturday, seniors Pyle and Johnson will take their 23-0 record to Fishers High School where they will take on a pair of seniors from Brownsburg for a regional championship in the state doubles tournament.

It’s hard to believe that high school winter sports in Indiana begin in less than three weeks, but we at The Courier-Times will focus on that a little later.

As I type this RR&R column on Oct. 12, the traditional Columbus Day (or Indigenous Peoples Day, take your pick), almost three fall sports are over for local area high schools and three still are going on.

In girls golf, Blue River Valley’s Maci Chamberlin was the only local player to reach the regional.

In boys tennis, Knightstown won its fourth straight sectional championship but was edged 3-2 by Rushville in the Richmond regional semifinals.

In the individual singles state tournament for boys tennis, New Castle junior Trent Alfrey was eliminated by undefeated senior Jack Stirn from Franklin County.

But we aren’t done with boys tennis just yet, as Knightstown’s No. 1 doubles duo of seniors Connor Pyle and Kyle Johnson take their 23-0 record (5-0 in the tournament) to Fishers Saturday for a regional championship match in the state doubles tournament against Brownsburg seniors Ean Alexander and Ben Bayler (14-8, 4-0 in the tournament).

Pyle and Johnson have played doubles together for four straight season and are undefeated during the regular season during the past three.

If you wanted to watch them play in the New Castle sectional, you needed to get there early as their flights against opponents didn’t last all that long.

Riz hopes that Pyle and Johnson go all the way and win the individual state doubles championship.

Last week primarily was soccer week for me, as Monday through Thursday plus Saturday I covered five soccer sectional games involving our four local teams. Unfortunately, they went 1-4 in those games, and we had no local teams win sectional championships.

This is my 18th year covering fall sports for The Courier-Times, the first 11 as a sports correspondent and the past seven as sports editor, and I still don’t understand the offsides call in soccer.

It seems to me that if a player is fast and can get down the field to the ball quickly and ahead of a defender, he or she shouldn’t be penalized for it. Perhaps I’m missing something.

One thing I like about covering soccer is that there is a running clock at all times except for brief stoppages of play after a goal is scored or when there is an injury down on the field. You kind of know when the game is going to end and can plan accordingly.

On my way to Hamilton Heights High School last Tuesday (Oct.5) to cover the New Castle girls soccer team’s sectional game against Jay County, I was driving on old Ind. 132 between Pendleton and Lapel when I came upon a dude driving a golf cart on the road.

The cart had a slow-moving vehicle sign but no license plate attached and, of course, was driving much slower than the speed limit. Because that road is not highly traveled, I easily passed him and continued on my way.

But did I miss something? Is it now legal to drive golf carts on roads and city streets without being properly registered?

I remember in an episode of one of my all-time favorite TV shows, “Leave It To Beaver,” Ward helped Wally and the Beaver build a motorized car, Beaver and Larry took the car out on the city streets of Mayfield, and a policeman pulled the boys over and issued Beaver a ticket for not being a licensed driver and not having a license plate on the vehicle even though the car was only a “one-lunger.”

The judge ended up expunging the violations from Beaver’s record (because of his age) and told Wally and the Beav they should get rid of the car.

I’ve seen golf carts driven on city streets here in New Castle and elsewhere. If it’s now legal to drive golf carts on city streets and highways without being registered, so be it. I just hope nobody gets killed or seriously injured because of it.

Getting back to sports, excluding boys tennis involving Pyle and Johnson, three fall sports still are going on for local high schools: cross country, volleyball, and football.

I look for several local runners to reach the cross country semi-states on Oct. 23, but it’s a major hill to climb after that to reach the state finals Oct. 30 in Terre Haute. I hope at least one of our local harriers makes it to that final weekend.

I’ve seen all six of our local high school volleyball teams several times this season. I try to be honest with you readers, and from what I’ve observed and because of the sectionals they are in, I think Hagerstown in Sectional 41 and Blue River Valley in Sectional 56 have the best chances of capturing a sectional championship.

The football tournament draw was this past Sunday. I really, really want at least one of our five local gridiron teams to win a sectional title so I can cover a regional championship game, and I think this year Tri has the best chance to make that a reality.

Of course the matches and games still need to be played and the races need to be run, and I hope my correspondents and I can get to as many of the fall sports events remaining as we can so you can read about what happened.

David Risley is sports editor of The Courier-Times